A/N: Don't even ask where this idea came from because all I'll say is that I have the weirdest dreams. Anyway, my brain isn't happy unless I have four ongoing fics apparently. I think I found a new favorite Lisbon. Awkward Lisbon used to be my favorite but I think I like distracted-scatter-brained Lisbon just as well.
It was a typical day at work, Lisbon almost laughed at the thought. As if any day working at the CBI was typical with her team. Then again maybe the fact that it was never typical actually made it typical. It was normal for them to be abnormal. Not so much before Jane had come along but it wouldn't be the same without him. She had to admit that. Despite his crazy schemes and knack for racking up the law suits, she enjoyed having him around. Well sometimes she did and other times she wanted to crawl under a table and never come out. He had a strange capability of knowing everything she didn't want announced to the world and what did he always seem to do with that info? He told everyone of course.
She'd been going easy on him the last several months. Red John was no longer in the picture and she couldn't help but mother over Jane a little more. She wanted to be sure he was okay but he'd proved he was fine when he'd made an announcement in the elevator. Gossip spread like wildfire.
The entire building now knew that she'd had a date the night before and that it didn't end as well as she'd been hoping. She'd been a little - a lot - pissed at Jane when he'd just abruptly carried their conversation over into her personal life rather easily and as if it was something he was supposed to do. But again, despite all of that, she had to admit that she'd actually get a little lonely if he wasn't around. She would never tell him that, it would just inflate his ego and the man was cocky enough already.
He teased, it was the one thing she was used to from him but she wasn't stupid. She noticed that their little chats were hardly ever about anything serious and she knew that he'd never tease her over something that he thought would actually upset her. They never brought up family history or the pasts they had both tried and failed to block out over time. The only circumstances where they did mention very vague things about them was if it was brought on by a tough case or relevant. On the topic of relevance, Lisbon knew she needed to calm her straying thoughts and finish filling out the few papers littering her desk. With a deep breath she pushed the consultant from her mind - he'd been invading it more and more lately - and picked up the pen she'd carelessly dropped.
Her back was cramping from hunching over for hours at a time. She'd been in one position too long but it'd been a rather lazy work day. No new cases, just old ones that needed filed and put away. The area between her shoulder blades was aching, sending pain down her spine and up into her neck. She hated back aches, there was no real relief from them. No matter how many times she stretched, the ache always returned within seconds. She could still work effectively but she would be the first to confess that she'd work better if she wasn't hurting. Aches and pains never stopped her from getting the job done but it was easier and more pleasant when she felt right as rain.
The blank form in her hands was mocking her, staring at her and just teasing her for the inability to concentrate enough to write. Her brain seemed to be anywhere and everywhere on this day and she couldn't do anything about it. She needed to stop thinking of such mundane things when the paper in front of her wasn't going to fill itself out but she still found herself with a consultant and a lousy date occupying her misbehaving mind.
The two didn't go together really. Jane had nothing to do with her lousy date, though it didn't help that the entire time she kept wondering what it would be like to go on a date with Patrick Jane instead of Mr. Slow. It wasn't so much that the red headed man was horrible company, he was actually okay. She didn't mind listening to him talk about his day, it kept her from having to open up about her own but he just seemed set on taking things at a slow pace. Hence the nickname she'd given him.
Last night hadn't been their first date, or even their second. Nope it was the sixth time they'd been out and he still hadn't even attempted to do anything. Nothing. No kiss on the hand or the cheek. He hadn't ever tried to hold her hand or touch her at all for that matter. Okay, so she was an adult and some of those things sounded rather childish but most men would've tried a little something, if not gone straight for the grand prize.
After the way the night had ended, she knew she wouldn't be accepting another date from him. She was a woman, she had urges and having dinner at cozy restaurants with romantic lighting only to go home alone, was not one of those urges. On their first date, he'd told her he liked taking things slow and she was fine with that but she hadn't realized that by slow, he meant the pace of a snail making it's way through molasses.
Chuckling at the mental image she'd managed to give herself, she dropped the pen once again with a sigh. There was no way she was going to be able to clear her head enough to get anything done. She didn't know why she was so scatter brained, it actually annoyed her but there wasn't anything she could do about it. Something had her mind racing, filling with mostly random nonsense. Just when she was about to jump up and head for the coffee pot, Jane waltzed in with a befuddled expression on his handsome face.
It was strange to see him looking so confused and whatever had him feeling that way seemed to be coming from within. She opened her mouth to ask if he was okay but the words didn't get a chance to work their way out into the atmosphere.
"I have something I want to ask you." Jane was nervous, he was never nervous. At least Lisbon had never seen him actually display it before but it was clear from the faltering shy smile and the way he wiped his palms against the legs of his trousers.
"T-this is going to seem really strange and you'll think I'm joking but..."
"Jane, just ask." There was a hint of teasing in her voice, she couldn't help herself really. It was fun to turn the tables every once in awhile when she actually got the chance.
Lisbon wasn't really sure what she was expecting to hear but what he did next completely blew her mind. Because she didn't have enough going on up there without his added strange Jane-ness. He took two hesitant steps towards her desk, nothing really special about that but she was still a little confused by his behavior. It was weird even for him.
"I bought you something," His hand disappeared into his pocket and pulled out a tiny box. Her heart sped up just at the sight and when he opened it to show her what was hidden inside, her eyes widened. "Marry me?"
It felt as though time had stopped as soon as the words left his lips. He couldn't be serious, she knew he had to be joking and yet she couldn't help but admire the ring. It was pretty, nothing too elaborate just a simple single diamond with an emerald on each side of it but she thought it was the most beautiful piece of jewelry she'd ever seen. She always liked simple things.
Resembling a fish as she searched for something to say, she finally let herself process what had just taken place. A soft laugh bubbled up from deep in her lungs as she shook her head. Another typically abnormal day.
"Funny Jane. Really, what did you want to ask?" She was smiling, still staring at the black velvet box in his outstretched hand. It really was lovely, she figured it was probably his wife's, or he'd borrowed it from someone. It wasn't until she let her gaze drift up to meet his that her happy demeanor changed.
He was looking over her shoulder, trying to avoid her questioning eyes and it was one of the rare moments when she could see every emotion he was feeling. He looked crushed, he wasn't faking it and her heart constricted painfully in her chest when she glanced back down at the ring he was still offering her.
"Jane, are you actually..." The sentence trailed off into nothing. She already knew, she did and that terrified her. What the hell was happening?
"Yes, I'm asking you to marry me."
"We've never even been on a date. We've never," There was a pause as a light flush rose in her cheeks. "...kissed or anything."
It seemed like a good argument, she didn't know what to say to him and he was just staring at her with piercing eyes. He'd found the courage to look at her again, never making a move to close the ring box. Lisbon was completely flabbergasted. She wasn't sure if she should be angry with him or feel sorry for him. He looked like an anxious saddened puppy who'd just got in trouble.
"Are you okay Jane?" She was thinking he might have bumped his head or lost his mind. Something to make him do this, of all things.
"I'm fine. I just didn't realize that minuscule details such as dates and kissing had anything to do with actual feelings." He sounded almost angry now, she was so confused. His emotions were changing quicker than she could handle, it was making her head spin.
With a disbelieving sigh, he set the little box on her desk and walked away, leaving her alone to question if any of that had really happened or if she was simply dreaming.
Watching him leave, she could see the tension in his shoulders as he hung his head. He wasn't nervous anymore and Lisbon couldn't help but feel a little guilty. She'd pretty much rejected him, saying everything she could think of besides the word 'no'. The puzzling thing was that she had no idea what brought this on. He hadn't been acting different lately, nothing out of the ordinary for him and then all of a sudden this.
A part of her wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that Red John had been killed about five months ago. It'd all come down to an intense standoff. Red John versus CBI and SWAT, it was obvious who won. She'd feared that Jane would leave, or that he'd resent them all for not giving him the chance to finish off the serial killer the way he'd intended but she'd never thought this would happen. Maybe he wasn't as okay as she'd originally thought.
Despite feeling a cocktail of emotions - none of them resembling what a woman should feel when a man proposes - Lisbon carefully lifted the ring from it's resting place. She eyed it cautiously, taking in the fact that it was cool to the touch. Pursing her lips, she thought back over the years she'd worked with the man who'd just ninja attacked her brain. They'd had several moments that could have led to something but they never did and she always took that as a sign.
Just out of curiosity, she gave in to the desire of her itching hands. She gently slid the circular piece of jewelry onto her left ring finger and was astounded to find that it was a perfect fit. Staring down at her hand, she let herself contemplate how long it would take to get used to seeing the beautiful symbol of love and then she caught herself and shook the forbidden thoughts. This wasn't a fairytale land.
She wasn't blind or stupid, she knew there was some level of attraction on both of their parts but she'd never thought he'd want to marry her. He was Jane. He'd been married, had a kid and then lost it all. He was damaged and she'd told herself countless times that he was strictly off limits. Unavailable in every way. There were times she longed for something to happen and other times she thought he was a cold manipulative bastard but at that exact second while sitting there staring at the ring occupying her finger, she let herself ponder his parting words. Had that been his way of saying he loved her?
With a groan, she let her head fall into her hands but didn't move to take off the ring. Her typically abnormal day had just become strange, and that was saying something. She'd imagined how the day would go while in the shower that morning. She'd figured it'd be paperwork, case, clean up one of Jane's messes and then repeat. She never in a million years expected this, she still wasn't sure it had actually happened. She was living in denial for the time being and then it struck her - she hadn't said the word 'no' because she hadn't wanted to. This couldn't be happening.
Did she love Patrick Jane? Yes. She didn't really have to even think about it but there was a huge difference between loving someone and marrying someone. With a tired laugh, she thought about thanking him. At least he'd managed to get her mind to stick to one topic. At the end of the day, she'd have to face him but she could put it off till then. She needed to think of what she was going to say and of how they were going to get passed this.
a/n: Like I said...weird dreams but this has been eating away at me so I just had to type it.